Get rid of the distractions and make the most of your study time

Sign that says Social Distraction

by Daniel Lobo

As we get closer to exams you may be wondering how to make the most of your study time. One of the biggest distractions can be the constant barrage of new text messages, emails, and social media posts. Studies have shown that every time you check email or look at social media you lose 23 minutes. However, there are some things you can do to create a distraction free study space.

  1. Turn off the notifications on your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. You can control when you take a break from studying instead of being at the mercy of notifications.
  2. Install an anti-distraction app. See some suggestions below.
  3. If your phone is the problem, set it on airplane mode while you are studying

Anti-distraction apps:

Freedom – Mac, iOS, Windows – You can use Freedom on your devices, computer, iPhone, and iPad. An Android subscription to (OFFTIME) Pro (see below) is included with purchase. Freedom allows you to block specific websites and apps or the entire internet. You can schedule specific times for the blocking to start and even put your device in locked mode. However, Freedom is not free. (See what I did there?) You can get unlimited access on a month by month basis for $6.99/month. If you commit to a year, it is $29/year.

(OFFTIME) – Android and iOS ((OFFTIME) Light) phones – (OFFTIME) allows you to block apps, calls, text, and notifications. The Android version allows you to select people who can still get through. The app has some other interesting features such as analytics of your phone usage and the ability to invite others to a shared (OFFTIME). The less robust (OFFTIME) Light is $2.99 for iOS devices. The Android pricing is somewhat unclear. It appears that you can download the app for free and upgrade to (OFFTIME) Pro for a suggested payment of 3 Euro.

SelfControl – OS X – SelfControl allows you to block email and websites for a period of time that you choose. Caution: Once it is started you can not turn it off until the timer runs out. It is Free Software under the GNU General Public License (GPL). If you know how to code, you can make changes to the sourcecode posted on Github.

Focus Lock – Android – Lock out selected apps for a set period of time. The default setting is for 25 minutes of work and a 5 minute break. Free.

Focus – Mac – Block websites and apps for a set period of time. Focus also allows you to schedule blocked times. A license for one Mac is $19.99.

Looking for other options? Try search anti-distraction apps to find what works best for you.

Now, stop being distracted and get back to studying. Good luck on exams!

Summer and post-graduation password use

As exams draw closer, so does summer work and graduation. Curious about what you can do with your Bloomberg Law, Lexis, or Westlaw passwords? Read on…

Summer use for returning students:Beach view
Bloomberg Law and Lexis passwords can be used for any purpose, without restrictions, over the summer. Westlaw can be used for non-commercial research such as coursework; GRA work; Law Review, Moot Court, or STLA research; non-profit work; clinical work; or work for an official College of Law externship. Westlaw, through your academic account, cannot be used when a client will be billed.

Post-graduation use:
Bloomberg Law and Lexis are available for 6 months after graduation. Westlaw provides a 6 month extension after graduation for usage up to 60 hours per month. You will see a pop up when you log on to Westlaw beginning a couple of months before you graduate.

Lexis is also providing a graduation gift of a free subscription to one of three services. You will be able to select a free subscription to Law360, Lexis Practice Advisor, or Lexis for Microsoft Office. If you are doing public interest work for a 501(c)(3), excluding government work or law firm work representing a non-profit, you may qualify for a Lexis ASPIRE ID. For more information on Lexis graduate programs, go to lexisnexis.com/grad-access.

If you have questions, please contact the appropriate College of Law representative.
Bloomberg Law: Terry Stedman
Lexis: Tracy Templeton
Westlaw: Sue Moore

Doping allegations – who decides whether athletes compete in the Olympics?

 

SugarLoafMtnRioBBCWorldService

Sugar Loaf by BBC World Service, CC

The summer Olympic Games begin soon in Rio with the opening ceremony set for August 5th. (Actually, women’s soccer begins August 3rd and men’s soccer begins August 4th. You can check the schedule here.) In addition to news reports about Zika, infrastructure and societal problems, and stunning poverty in Rio, you may have also heard reports of doping issues and other rules violations. But what regulatory bodies govern participation in the Olympics and how should you begin your research in this area?

Let’s take a look at the recent decision of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the Russian doping scandal. Reports of government supported doping by Russian athletes abounded after the Sochi games. The World Anti-Doping Agency appointed Canadian lawyer Richard H. McLaren to lead an Independent Investigation of the Sochi allegations. The report was issued on July 16, 2016 and detailed 3 key findings: (1) a Moscow testing laboratory operated, under the direction of the government, a system to protect Russian athletes described in the report as the “Disappearing Positive Methodology”; (2) a Sochi laboratory used a sample swapping technique to protect Russian athletes; and (3) the deliberate mishandling and swapping of samples at both laboratories was done under the supervision of the Russian Ministry of Sport.

On July 18th WADA’s Executive Committee recommended that the International Olympic Committee consider banning all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee and the Russian Paralympic Committee from participating in the Rio 2016 games.

 

MaracanaStadium

Estadio do Maracana by Luciano Silva, CC

So now what? Why does the IOC get to decide and what does it base its decision on? First, some history. The Olympic Games were re-established in the late nineteenth century and the IOC was created on June 23, 1894 as the governing authority for the Olympics. All organizations affiliated with the Olympics, such as International Federations (IFs), must agree to abide by the Olympic CharterIn order to participate in the Olympic Games, athletes must comply with the Olympic Charter and follow the rules of the International Federation (IF) for their sport.

After the McLaren Report, the IOC Executive Board had to quickly make a decision about the participation of Russian athletes in the Rio Olympic Games. On Sunday, July 24, 2016, they issued their decision. The Executive Board did not issue an outright ban, however, the onus was placed on the athlete to “rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.” No Russian athlete will be able to participate in the Games without meeting certain criteria. The determination of eligibility will be made by the IFs after the athletes have met certain criteria including an individual assessment of the history of their anti-doping testing, mere absence of a positive test will not be sufficient. The athletes who are being banned from the games are failing to meet the criteria set out in Sunday’s IOC decision.

You can find official documents relating to the IOC through the Olympic Studies Centre. Some of the Centre’s documents collection is available online here. For links to more information about the International Federations for Olympic sports go here; and for more information about National Olympic Committee’s go here.

Law Trivia in the Law Library

Celebrate Law Week with legal trivia in the law library and win a study room for a day! Come along for this intellectual slugfest in the fifth floor active learning area of the law library on Monday, April 4, 2:30-4pm. The questions will focus on all things “law” but be prepared, they may be a little different than what you’re used to.

We will run through the questions at least twice so don’t worry about dropping in halfway through.  The team, individual, coterie, gang, or horde that answers the most questions correctly will receive the grand prize; the rights to a study room of your choice for a full day.

Legal Grounds & Miss Demeanor’s Cafe now open

LegalGroundsNov2015On Friday, October 30th, the smell of fresh coffee wafted through the atrium for the first time when Legal Grounds made its debut. The coffee bar, located on the ground level of the College of Law, will be open Monday – Friday, 8am – 2pm. Legal Grounds sells coffee, soft drinks, baked goods and snacks. On the same day, Miss Demeanor’s Cafe opened on the 5th level. The Cafe will be open Monday – Friday, 11am – 6:15pm. They have a selection of salads, sandwiches, baked goods, snacks, coffee and other beverages, and a soup of the day. The cafe is located adjacent to the 5th floor terrace so you can enjoy your meal with a little Vitamin D…after it stops raining.

Updated library hours and access to databases

View from the 5th floor Terrace

Because of continuing construction in the library as well as the move of the College of Law servers this weekend, the Law Library will have temporarily shortened hours.

The library will be open:
Thursday, June 25, 2015 7am-6pm
Friday, June 26, 2015 8am-4pm
Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28, 2015 10am-6pm
Monday-Thursday, June 28-July 2, 2015 8am-6pm
Friday-Saturday, July 3-4, 2015 Closed
Sunday, July 5, 2015 10am-6pm

Because of the server move, all Law Library databases will be unavailable from 4pm on Friday, June 26, 2015 through Sunday, June 28, 2015.

As a reminder, only current College of Law students are allowed in the building to use study aids, reserves, or get research assistance. Students will need to show their ID and sign in at the Security Desk and proceed immediately to the Circulation Desk on the Fifth Floor. Library personnel will retrieve materials, as available, and direct students to an area of the library where they can study. Students needing research assistance can also use the red Chat Reference button in the upper left corner of the Law Library’s home page.

At this time, the computer lab, printers, copiers and scanners are not available. We will continue to update you as construction progresses and more resources become available.  In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek (above) at the view from the 5th floor terrace. If you have any questions please contact Associate Dean Niedringhaus at krisn@gsu.edu or 404-413-9140.